'America's Got Talent' Finale Gives NBC Ratings Boost

Trae Patton/NBC
Tyra Banks, Shin Lim and Zurcaroh during the finale show of America's Got Talent.

America’s Got Talent ended its summer run last week with the most-watched entertainment programs on television since May, although its popularity dipped this summer.

Just under 13 million people watched the final two episodes of the NBC competition last week, where magician Shin Lim was chosen as the winner. While those were bigger audiences than any entertainment show since the last original episode of The Big Bang Theory, Wednesday’s (Sept. 19) finale was down 18 percent from the 2017 season finale, the Nielsen company said.

Last season was an anomaly for the talent show, which had its highest ratings ever during its 12th season. Young ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer was a popular winner in 2017. Overall, viewership for the main Tuesday edition of the show was down 11 percent from last year, Nielsen said.

Still, America’s Got Talent remains by far the most popular television series of the summer, and NBC is planning a midseason edition this year for the first time. That series, along with a Sunday night football matchup, led NBC to a dominant week in the television ratings, nearly doubling its closest rival in audience size.

NBC averaged 8.2 million viewers for the week. CBS was second with 4.2 million, Fox had 4 million, ABC had 2.7 million, Univision has 1.33 million, Telemundo had 1.32 million, ION Television had 1.2 million and the CW had 650,000.


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